Scotland has declared a climate emergency and our historic environment has unique potential to inspire climate action, as set out in this action plan.
Scotland’s historic sites are awe-inspiring, bringing visitors to marvel at our castles, cairns, abbeys and palaces. And much of our daily life takes place in the historic buildings that have become our much-loved homes, workplaces, schools and community spaces.
But our historic environment is on the front line of climate change.
We must harness the power of Scotland’s history to foster positive behaviour change and increase resilience to climate change in communities across the country. We cannot face the climate emergency and its effects on our heritage alone.
Our Climate Action Plan details our climate action ambitions for the historic environment for 2020–2025, which we can realise by working together.
What is the plan?
A plan that sets out how we will place the environmental impact of our activities at the heart of our policy and strategy decision-making processes – and support others to do the same.
The Climate Action Plan sets out seven key areas of climate action which will be our focus for 2020–2025 and beyond:
Climate impacts and adaptation
We will continue to research and monitor the effects of climate change on the historic environment. The more we know, the better we can help it to adapt.
Energy and carbon management
We will accelerate our energy efficiency and carbon management efforts in line with the Scottish Government’s ambitious new emissions reduction targets.
We will work towards zero waste operations, in which we maintain, repair, upgrade, repurpose, reuse and recycle everything we use in a continual loop.
We will give our visitors the right facilities, infrastructure and information to lessen the environmental impact of visits. As we continue to widen access to the historic environment, we will ensure that we grow in a responsible way.
We will ensure that the goods and services we procure add value socially or environmentally. We will continue to support the wider use of sustainable materials and construction techniques.
We will maintain the ecological value of our sites by embedding biodiversity and landscape management into all relevant decision making.
We will reduce the impact of staff commuting and business travel by promoting low-carbon travel and alternatives to travel. We will also provide more sustainable options for visitor travel to our sites.
Why is action needed?
Find out how climate change threatens Scotland’s heritage. View our series of short films about Climate Change Impacts on the Historic Environment.